In order to identify the phosphorus species and concentration in animal manure, we comparatively characterized phosphorus in dairy manure, swine manure, and broiler litter, using a sequential procedure, a simplified two-step procedure (NaHCO3/NaOH+EDTA), and a solution Phosphorus-31 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (31P-NMR) spectroscopy procedure. In the sequential procedure, deionized water extracted 39, 22, and 32%; NaHCO3 extracted 48, 26, and 37%; NaOH extracted 8, 9, and 13.8%; and HCl extracted 3, 42.8, and 17% of the total phosphorus in dairy manure, swine manure and broiler litter, respectively. Total phosphorus extracted by the NaHCO3/NaOH+EDTA procedure was 7.5, 32.4, and 15.8 g P kg−1 for dairy manure, swine manure, and broiler litter, respectively. The solution 31P-NMR procedure detected that 9, 34, and 29% of total phosphorus was phytic acid in dairy manure, swine manure, and broiler litter, respectively. These results show that phosphorus forms, availability, and quantities differ between animal manures, which provides valuable information for P characterization of animal manures in China.